Taming – at Least Talking About – the Cookie Monster

by on July 16, 2007 · 6 comments

Credit is due Google for announcing a privacy-improving change to its cookie policy. According to Peter Fleischer, writing on the official Google blog, Google will be altering its cookie-setting practices to give its cookies an expiration date of two years from the time they’re set. The previous cookie practice was to give all cookies persistence until 2038.

Google’s change doesn’t tame the cookie monster, of course. A cookie re-issued every ≤2 years until 2038 and beyond has the same tracking power as a cookie expiring 31 years hence. But rare users of Google rightly should be “forgotten” by Google in two years.

As important as the substance of the new cookie policy, Google is talking about their information practices and the effects their practices have on privacy. What other company does even that?

It remains with you to tame the cookie monster, if that’s what you care to do. Your web browser provides you the ability to control them, which gives you the responsibility to do so. I control mine.

  • http://linuxworld.com/community/ Don Marti

    The CustomizeGoogle extension also removes some of the user-tracking functionality from Google’s result pages.

  • http://linuxworld.com/community/ Don Marti

    The CustomizeGoogle extension also removes some of the user-tracking functionality from Google’s result pages.

  • V

    Cookies don’t scare me, and never have, for this reason alone: only the site that created them can read them. If I can trust Google to store my email or send my IM’s, I can trust it to remember what my session is, and I can delete those cookies at any time.

    The question is, having all that data, what do they do with it? That’s far more interesting than how long a cookie takes to expire.

  • V

    Cookies don’t scare me, and never have, for this reason alone: only the site that created them can read them. If I can trust Google to store my email or send my IM’s, I can trust it to remember what my session is, and I can delete those cookies at any time.

    The question is, having all that data, what do they do with it? That’s far more interesting than how long a cookie takes to expire.

  • http://mcgath.blogspot.com Gary McGath

    My browser is set to forget all cookies when I exit. It doesn’t matter in the least to me whether Google sets its cookies to expire in two years or two millenia.

  • http://mcgath.blogspot.com Gary McGath

    My browser is set to forget all cookies when I exit. It doesn’t matter in the least to me whether Google sets its cookies to expire in two years or two millenia.

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